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Attracting cats to a specific area?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

Our ferals range over about an acre of land...some areas they're welcome, and some they're not. At night, three of the fixed cats (who pal around together) sometimes sleep in a quiet area of our courtyard, where no one bothers them.

Conversely, they sometimes wander toward an old garage-type building, and our neighbor isn't thrilled with having them there. I've put some non-toxic natural, repellent down with mixed success, but I am wondering if there's a way to attract the cats to another area. A little catnip?

The problem is that I'd like the cats to be in an area where they're not bothering anyone, but I don't want them using the area as a bathroom, either.

Suggestions, or a moot point?

One of the cats -- the male fluffy -- seems quite intrigued by me and I almost think he could be socialized, despite being two years old. He actually has run up toward me on a few occasions, so he seems to recognize that I'm not a threat. But he won't come within 5 feet.
post #2 of 3
Hi Scott,

This is one that is very difficult. You've done some negative reinforcement, I guess you'd call it, with the repellent. I was going to suggest providing an area with sand or a bunch of clay litter, as far as possible from the "unwelcome" areas. But if you don't really like the idea of a bathroom . . . . . then it's hard to come up with too much help. I have always read that cats do not respond well to negative training (yelling, scolding, spanking, squirting, etc.), so it's a challenge to come up with something really guaranteed to keep them in the "ok" areas.

MAYBE try some clicker-training?? But that depends on someone being able to distract them with clicks and treats when they start to roam.

Metro Ferals, a group near us, has sometimes tried those infra-red detector water sprinkler things, often used to shoo deer away. I don't know if that would work for you or not -- like I said, getting cats NOT to do something without substituting something they really WANT TO do, is probably not easy.

post #3 of 3
I hate to say this, and it is just my opinion: I think it's a moot point. While most of my colony hang close to my house, Blackie always wanders to the neighbors in back of the property. We have 10 acres, they have 70 acres. Even though she is here for every meal, she doesn't want to stick around all day long. I often see her coming up from out back early in the morning right before food time.

The ONLY thing that has deterred the ferals from going into another person's yard are their dogs.

And btw.....I have groves of wild catnip around the house - I even planted it around my patio and for some odd reason, the ferals have no interest in it. Perhaps it is because it is SO prevelant out here that they are indifferent to it.
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